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Inheritance dispute can affect Michigan family relations

When a person leaves assets to his or her family members, there is always the chance that one or more of the family members may disagree with the distribution of the assets or feel slighted in some way. A dispute over a large inheritance has recently made the news as it has pitted a mother against her own son and stepson. Michigan families who are deciding the fate of assets and funds may want to follow the story as it unfolds. 

An out-of-state woman is suing her son and stepson over the estate of her late husband who died in 2013. The estate is reported to be worth $91 million. Since the man died, the woman has been paid $20 million from the estate. The woman is seeking a detailed account of the estate through the courts.

Disputes over security deposits

It is common for a Michigan landlord to collect a security deposit from new tenants. There are a variety of different rules Michigan law has in place regarding security deposits. It can be very important for landlords to understand and follow these rules when it comes to their security deposit policies and practices, as failure to do so could cause a landlord to be in a tough legal situation that could have negative financial implications.

Ideas for broaching the subject of an estate plan

When a family member decides the time is right to being to the process of estate planning, including the appointing of trustees and heirs, the act of broaching the subject can be a little tricky. Each family is vastly different, and, therefore, the best way to go about ensuring that everyone understands the ins and outs of an estate plan varies widely. Michigan residents may want to think about the following tips when beginning the process of creating estate plans.

One piece of advice is to have a meeting with everyone who needs to be informed and involved in the process. While having this meeting when the entire family is already gathered may seem convenient, special occasions, such as holidays, may not be an appropriate time. Scheduling a meeting for when people are prepared to discuss the matter may be best.

Family of Ernie Banks plans to fight will

Whenever a family passes, that family member's last will and wishes expressed may come as a surprise to some. However, those typically close to the person may already be aware of the declarations and wishes that are part of a will. When a Michigan family feels that a will does not seem to go along with what that family believes the person would have wanted, the family may have grounds to successfully contest the will. The family of baseball great Ernie Banks has made it clear they plan to dispute the will said to be left behind by Banks.

A woman named Regina Rice spent the last several years caring for the ill baseball player. The woman had him sign a will, health care directive and power of attorney. The family was unaware of these new documents until after Banks' death. They claim that he was ill at the time that he signed the new will.

Michigan families may need legal help with a will challenge

Individuals may think they have done huge favors to their families if they have drafted legal wills. However, having a will in place and ensuring it does not end up subject to a will challenge are two different things. It is important to understand how and why a will challenge may occur and what a Michigan family should do if one or more family members do in fact challenge a loved one's will.

One reason a will may be challenged is the simple fact that certain assets may not have been included in the will. Also, some of the deceased's wishes for assets may not be as clear as they could be, leaving room for misinterpretation.  Family members who come into the picture after a will is drafted, such as children born after the fact, may also make a will open for a challenge.

Trust administration duties are important part of trust process

Some people may wrongfully assume trusts are only created for those who have a significant amount of wealth to hand down to loved ones. Regardless of the size of an estate or the amount of money being considered as part of an estate plan, creating the right kind of trust can be a first step in the right direction. After the right kind of trust is created, trust administration becomes the way in which the process unfolds in accordance with your vision. Michigan families may want to get further information about trust administration duties and the types of specific trusts that may work in each situation.

For those who have minor children, establishing a minor children's trust may be essential. For some families, pets are just as important as children. This is why you can create a pet trust to ensure a beloved pet is cared for as you see fit. A special needs trust is a viable way to ensure a special needs adult child gets the care and benefits needed to be taken care of for the long-term.

Estate administration is an important undertaking

When an estate plan is mapped out and put into motion, the duties of those involved should be clearly outlined and defined, preferably before attending to those duties is necessary. Knowing what role a person is accepting is as important as acting as an estate administrator, and it should not to be taken lightly. Michigan families may want to explore any potential issues or problems to ensure the estate administration process goes smoothly when the time comes to implement the plans.

Having someone in mind for certain duties, such as administrator or guardian, is helpful, but it doesn't guarantee the person is up for the job. A conflict of interest may lead other family members to resent or dispute the role of an estate administrator. This can lead to familial strife after the death of a loved one. Appointing a person who truly lacks the ambition or motivation to follow through with the duties is an equally regrettable mistake.

Important to understand Michigan estate plan terms, paperwork

While everyone may know they need an estate plan and the importance of taking care of affairs in the event of one's passing, it may be overwhelming and confusing to understand the terms involved. Knowing the definition of basic terms associated with a comprehensive estate plan is the first step to ensuring a plan covers all of the needs of a given family. Michigan families typically benefit by sitting down with a professional and exploring basic terms while deciding upon the right steps to take.

The essential document needed is a will, which is a document basically saying who gets what. It is a document that comes into play after the death of the maker. A living trust is a private document that basically holds assets that are passed on according to the terms of the trust. It is a convenient way to privately leave funds and to stipulate circumstances under which those funds can be used or distributed.

An effective estate plan requires certain key documents

The thought of sitting down to put together a will may naturally be unappealing, as people prefer to focus on enjoying life rather than contemplating what would happen to their belongings if they died. Failure to develop an estate plan, however, may mean that a person's family members in Michigan will not end up getting the assets he or she would like them to have in the future. A well-thought-out estate plan also helps to minimize stress and potential conflict among family members after one has died.

It is important to create a will or establish a trust. A will is less expensive, but a trust offers the advantage of allowing one's personal assets to be distributed to surviving loved ones with more privacy. Still, it will need to go through the process of probate in order to distribute to the parties named in the will any property that is not being held in one's trust.

Michigan residents can learn from estate plan mistakes

No plan is fool-proof, including an estate plan. While a vital process for any adult in Michigan, there are mistakes in the estate planning process that can truly disrupt or paralyze a person's efforts to have his or her wishes honored after death. Several recent celebrity deaths and estate planning details have made the news as a lesson for others who wish to avoid common estate planning mistakes.

Robin Williams serves as one example. He had a trust in place for his children as a means of leaving them assets privately. However, a co-trustee died before Williams, and the trust then was made public. As a result, everyone knows what he left to whom. This was exactly opposite of the reason for the trust creation in the first place.

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